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  • Postcards for Maryna: RSF launches global campaign action in support of jailed Belarusian journalist Maryna Zolatava

    Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is launching a new global action as part of its ongoing campaign for the release of jailed Belarusian journalist Maryna Zolatava. Supporters around the world are encouraged to send letters and cards in solidarity with Zolatava, to be delivered to the Belarusian embassies in several countries on 6 November, Zolatava’s 46th birthday.

    Start­ing on 6 Sep­tem­ber, phys­i­cal cards and let­ters with mes­sages of sol­i­dar­i­ty with Mary­na Zolata­va will be col­lect­ed at RSF’s Paris head­quar­ters, as well as RSF’s coun­try offices in Aus­tria, Ger­many, Swe­den, Switzer­land, the UK, and the US. The mail­ing address­es can be found below. Alter­na­tive­ly, sup­port­ers can also send online mes­sages via postcardsformaryna@rsf.org. RSF will deliv­er these cards, let­ters, and mes­sages in par­al­lel to the Belaru­sian embassies in sev­er­al coun­tries on 6 Novem­ber, Zolatava’s 46th birth­day. Inter­na­tion­al sup­port is cru­cial­ly need­ed for Zolata­va, the edi­tor-in-chief of TUT.BY, Belarus’ most pop­u­lar inde­pen­dent news site before its ban.

    “Three years into the Lukashenko regime’s relent­less crack­down, it is more impor­tant than ever to mobilise inter­na­tion­al­ly in sup­port of coura­geous Belaru­sian jour­nal­ists like Mary­na Zolata­va. We encour­age all those around the world who care about press free­dom to join our action to show sol­i­dar­i­ty with Mary­na and send a clear mes­sage to the Belaru­sian author­i­ties that the jail­ing of jour­nal­ists and silenc­ing of inde­pen­dent media is com­plete­ly unac­cept­able. It’s time to #Free­Zo­lata­va along with the oth­er 33 jour­nal­ists behind bars in Belarus!

    Rebec­ca Vin­cent

    RSF’s Direc­tor of Cam­paigns

    Mary­na Zolata­va has been detained since 18 May 2021, and is cur­rent­ly serv­ing a 12-year sen­tence in a Min­sk prison on nation­al secu­ri­ty charges, along with TUT.BY man­ag­er Liud­mi­la Chek­inaIn August, the two were added to the Lukashenko regime’s list of “extrem­ists,” mean­ing they will be banned from tak­ing on any pub­lic role in Belarus, and the police will be able to mon­i­tor their finan­cial trans­ac­tions, as well as fol­low them when they will be released from prison.

    Zolata­va and Chek­ina were tar­get­ed as part of the severe crack­down launched by the Belaru­sian author­i­ties fol­low­ing Alexan­der Lukashenko’s fraud­u­lent reelec­tion in August 2020. A total of 34 jour­nal­ists are cur­rent­ly behind bars in Belarus — among them 10 women jour­nal­ists — mak­ing the coun­try the fourth largest jail­er of jour­nal­ists in the world. 

    Belarus is ranked 157th out of 180 coun­tries in RSF’s 2023 World Press Free­dom Index.

    Read more:

    Nasha Niva chief editor released from prison

    “Everything his camera captured turned into a masterpiece.” Renowned photographer Anatol Kliashchuk passes away

    The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a Belarusian court’s sentencing of journalist Larysa Shchyrakova

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